Libraries Add Sunday Hours

Beginning this week, several Montgomery County library branches will be open on Sundays until June.

The Germantown, Fairland, Olney and Silver Spring branches will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Branches in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Wheaton already have Sunday hours. The new schedule is in effect until June 11, 2000.

All libraries will be closed Dec. 26, Jan. 2, April 23 and May 28.

September is "Library Card Sign Up Month" in Montgomery. Registration forms in English and four other languages are at each county library branch. Cards are free and are available in the traditional format or the newer "plastic strip" design for key rings.

County Service Day Is Next Month

The 13th annual Montgomery County Service Day, when residents from across the county work together on community projects, will be Saturday, Oct. 23.

The event's sponsor, Volunteer Partnership Montgomery Inc., matches volunteers with projects such as fall planting and landscaping, park and stream cleanups, cookie baking and collections of food, clothing and other supplies for the needy. Volunteers also may opt to organize their own community projects and register them with the partnership.

Last year, more than 10,000 volunteers participated_individually or in groups formed by churches, neighbors or friends. Middle and high school students can earn student service learning credit for their participation.

An early-morning rally on the grounds of Strathmore Hall in Bethesda will kick off the day. Volunteers will participate in their projects from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Call Volunteer Partnership Montgomery at 240-777-2621 to volunteer, or go to www.volunteerpartnership.org, the partnership's Web site.

Public Hearings on Land Use

Public hearings are being held this month on proposed land use plans for Takoma Park and East Silver Spring.

A hearing on a draft master plan for Takoma Park will be Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The second, on the draft master plan for East Silver Spring, will be Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Both official public hearings will be held at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission auditorium, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Free copies of the plans are available at the commission offices.

In a statement, Planning Board Chairman William H. Hussmann said: "We encourage residents, civic associations and businesses in the Takoma Park and East Silver Spring areas to read through the plans and testify at these important public hearings. Input from the public is essential to land use planning in Montgomery County."

The East Silver Spring and Takoma Park master plans make recommendations to:

Use a new zoning mechanism to stabilize multi-family neighborhoods.

Encourage revitalization and support the economic health of existing commercial centers through the creation and application of a commercial revitalization overlay zone.

Complete a comprehensive pedestrian and bikeway system to serve East Silver Spring and Takoma Park, including implementation of the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Encourage the maintenance and preservation of housing through a continued aggressive code enforcement program.

Encourage the enhancement and improved safety of sidewalks and road rights-of-way through the application of streetscape guidelines designed specifically for Takoma Park and East Silver Spring.

To testify at either meeting, sign up in advance by calling 703-495-4600. Interested parties may also send their ideas in advance to the Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. 20910. For more information, call Don Downing, lead planner for Takoma Park, or Marsha Kadesch, lead planner for East Silver Spring, at 301-495-4555.